Yes folks, this is unbelievable, BUT true !
Read the following decision of the CIC to see
how PIO (respondent) tried to bribe the
The world has indeed come a full circle !
Now babus have to bribe the citizens.
It is really sickening to read about this PIO, Gloria Kumar. She has already been pulled up by the CIC on a few earlier occasions. In one decision during this year, she was imposed a fine of Rs16000/= for the deliberate delay in providing the information. In respect of another appeal, the CIC has even directed the Joint Secretary in the MEA to take necessary administrative actions against this PIO & RPO, Delhi, and also inform the Commission about the action taken.
It is time the CIC is vested with sufficient powers to initiate appropriate penal actions against such erring officials.
15. The case shows that the Respondents are not above 'bribing' the
Applicants in order to induce them to mislead the Commission to avoid a
penalty. This bribe may be in any form including a monetary one. This would
indeed seem to be an easy and profitable bargain for both the parties: one
getting the money and the other escaping penalty. The only loser would be
public morality, which it is the duty of the Commission to protect and promote.
16. The Commission feels that this point should be emphasized for, this
means that the Commission, in such cases, becomes an indirect party for
promoting corruption – the very phenomenon the RTI Act and the Commission
are supposed to effectively curb and contain.
But, please go through the entire decision...it will make interesting reading.
In addition to what you said, I sometimes wonder what happens to the conscience of such people ? Even if they are hauled up in public they continue to behave the same way. Makes me wonder if the Government recruits the wrong kind of people or is it that they do not get properly trained.
Nothing wrong with recruitment or training. It is simply the individual's lure for lucre. Many do not have the moral courage to resist the temptation. With the result, honest officers get side-lined and end up as the odd men.
This is what the Information Commissioner O.E Kejriwal, has observed as it appeared in "Hindustan Times" dated : 24th May 2007.
Titled : Sweet revenge : babu's turn to bribe.
THE RIGHT to Information Act was intended to curb corruption. But it seems there have been occasions when it has been misused to promote corruption, according to watchdog body Central Information Commission. The commission observed in a recent order that there have been cases where it suspected that government officials, to avoid paying penalties, had bribed RTI applicants to withdraw their complaints. Information Commissioner O.E Kejriwal made the observation while hearing a complaint against the Regional Passport Office, Delhi. He suspected the complainant Sunder Lal was induced to change his stance. "The commission in such cases, be- comes an indirect party for promoting corruption - the very phenomenon the RTI Act and the commission are supposed to curb and contain," Kejriwal said in his order on May 18. In July 2006, Lal had sought a reply to 12 Queries from the passport office under the RTI Act. The Act stipulates that the information has to be given within 30 days. Lal filed a complaint in January 2007 saying he had not heard from the passport office. But when the commission started hearing his case on May 15, Lal said he had received the information within the deadline. Kejriwal suspected a deal and asked Lal for documentary proof. Lal replied that the information had been provided verbally. 'The cat is out of the bag," Kejriwal said in his order. "It is clear that there has been a tacit understanding between the two parties based on some kind of gratification," Kejriwal said. He noted that both parties had gained: one got the money and the other escaped paying a fine, which could be up to Rs 25,000. Later, Lal admitted be- fore the commission that he got no information from the passport office. Passport Officer Gloria Kumar had no answer when asked to explain the reasons for the delay in providing the information.